Confirmed: Andy Serkis &amp; Ian McKellen Reprising Roles For <i>The Hobbit</i>

Well, it's about time!

After weeks, months and, really, years of needless speculation, it's now officially official that Andy Serkis and Ian McKellen are reprising their Lord of the Rings roles of Gollum and Gandalf the Grey for The Hobbit, Peter Jackson's two-part prequel to the classic J.R.R. Tolkien series.

Deadline confirms Serkis' return to Middle-Earth, reporting that the actor has just closed his deal to resume the irreversibly damaged cave-dweller's role for The Hobbit. Gollum plays a small but crucial role in the prequel novel, as he's at least partially responsible for giving the Ring of Power to Bilbo Baggins and consequently kickstarting the events of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. McKellen, of course, already turned in three unforgettable performances as the bearded wizard — and he'll turn in two more for both installments of The Hobbit, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

With McKellen and Serkis officially on board, how long until we get word of Hugo Weaving's return as Elrond? And is anyone else impressed by the fact that The Hobbit has finally gotten itself together?

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